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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 14, 2011

So I misspelled a word, big deal...wait, it IS a big deal?

I think something has gone wrong in my brain, because I'm having crap luck at titles lately. But I digress. You guys didn't come here to listen to me rant about titles. No, you came to listen to me rant about spelling.

Wait, what?

Yes, I said spelling. Or more importantly, spelling in your writing. Stay with me, folks. It won't be long (too late, right?). Just imagine that you're reading along in your absolute all-time favorite book ever and you come across a misspelled word. It's jarring, gut-wrenching, painful.

Much like this:

Yeah, it hurts to read, huh? Which is how it feels when you see a misspelled word in your absolute all-time favorite book ever. It hurts. It rips you out of that wonderful world you were in, where only you and those beautiful words exist, frolicking together in a meadow full of similes and metaphors and perfectly-placed adjectives. Basically, it stops your groove. And that sucks.

Now, do you want that in your own writing? Of course not! You don't want someone to be totally engrossed in your work (whether it's a critique partner or an agent or an editor or the public), head-over-heels in love with your prose, only to be yanked from the abyss of blissful reading by something as trivial as a missing "P" (see photo above). And you certainly don't want to boast with pride that "Yes, this is MY book" when the contents contain something as blatantly obvious as this:

Yeah, just when you thought it couldn't get worse. At least that first one was done by hand. This was printed, people. Printed. Like, on a computer, where it was probably looked at by several people. So, so sad.

Please don't get me wrong. In no way am I condemning those books that make it to print with misspelled words. It happens because in the end, we are all human. But, if you can in any way contribute to the betterment of your printed book, don't you want to? So start now. Don't rely on spellcheck to verify your words are spelled correctly. Print that sucker out and check each word yourself. Sure it'll take a long time, but at least it will save you from this kind of embarrassment:


  1. haha! oh Jamie those signs are priceless. My biggest fear as becoming a teacher is writing a word on the blackboard for my class to see & it's misspelled! How awful would that be?! Thank goodness for spell check when it comes to writing my reviews.

  2. G - Aren't those funny? I couldn't imagine putting up a giant billboard like that! And I bet you do have a fear of that...I know I would if I were a teacher!

  3. I am a horrible speller. Spellchecker is my savior but even then it's not foolproof. If my two betas ever get back to on my story I really want to print it out and give it a read over to see how it looks in print.

  4. Patricia - I'm with ya on Spellchecker. I use it constantly but definitely don't rely on that. And when you get ready to print out your work, seriously consider using a POD from the web...seeing your "book" that way makes for much more realistic reading (IMO)!

  5. Funny signs... And I agree, bad spelling and typos are a turn off.

  6. Austin - They are in most respects...though if I like the book I'll read through them. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I 100% agree about finding a world mispelled in your favorite novel... HOWEVER, the pictures included in this blog, cracked me up!

  8. Lol, these were great--but I'm SO glad you addressed it! That's why beta readers rock--not only can they help with plotting and characterization, but they can also look out for typos. :)

  9. Mflick1 - Weren't they hilarious? Amazing that they weren't noticed beforehand (especially shcool!)

    Pam - Betas rock! And so do copy editors. Last line of defense, me thinks!

  10. I've been trying to overlook them in the self-pubbed works I've been reading lately - but they stand out like some of those signs.

    Tempts me to grab a dictionary and check every word in my novel . .


  11. Donna - I'm with ya on the self-pubbeds (hmm, made-up word?)...I love reading them, and most times I can overlook the misspelled words and such. Thanks for stopping by!